Words: Matthew Paskins
'Misfits' Series 2: 'Episode 4'
SYNOPSIS: "'Misfits' follows five outsiders on community service who get struck by a flash storm and lumbered with special powers. Ollie (Joshua McGuire), an environmental protester who has the power to teleport, starts his community service but is he really destined to become part of the gang?" (channel4.com)
With this episode I realised how much the super-hoodie character has been looming over the plot for me – in ways I didn't really like. He would swoop in at certain moments, do some rescuing, be mysterious, build up to some conclusion – involving something super-secret and mysterious. And it was all a bit deus ex machina, with our 'Misfits' crew not having much to do. Last episode's revelation made him seem even more central to the plot. And now - well, avoiding spoilers – there's some resolution, which I didn't see coming at all, and 'Misfits' feels as freewheeling and anarchic as it ever did. That's really exciting and I don't have any idea how the season's going to end. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Most of the episode is taken up with a monster of the week: a man who thinks he's living a grand theft auto-ish computer game, who at the beginning of the episode gets to kill Ollie, who's set up (very briefly) to be the gang's newest member. We're never meant to think Ollie is any good - he's self-conscious, has a peace badge, teleports but leaves one of his sandals behind, and has a face like a smug moon.
The reason Ollie's with the young offenders is that he's done direct action at a coal-fired power plant. The jokes at his expense are crass and laboured, and felt off to me. At one point Nathan (Robert Sheehan) says "he was never going to fit in what with the caring about the environment and that", which doesn't sound like anything anyone would ever say. I'd have been happier if the first few minutes of the episode had felt like Ollie's story, and the script made out that we really ought to care about him. Then he could have been shot in the head.
In some gleeful plotting, Ollie's heart ends up with the minor character who needs it. The probation officer continues to be a bit useless. The showdown with video-game guy is genuinely creepy and comes to a resolution which is pretty moving. Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) gets something he wants. Good episode, overall.
'Misfits' is on E4 at 10pm on Thursdays. Each episode is available to watch for free on 4oD for a month for UK users. The first series is also available in its entirety.